Every month, St. Louis County’s Circle of Concern Food Pantry feeds some 2,000 people. More than a third are children. The organization also provides financial assistance to low-income families, seniors, disabled people, veterans, the underemployed, and the homeless. It has been doing so since 1967, when it was founded by local church congregations who recognized the growing problem of poverty in the then-rural area.

Today, more than 350 volunteers keep the wheels turning at the Circle of Concern Food Pantry, whether sorting donations or reaching out to the community. Last month, just in time for the holiday season, the Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta St. Louis pitched in by hosting a food drive. Sonesta employees brought in donations by the bagful and were entered into a raffle to win a free night at the Sonesta ES Suites St. Louis – Westport.

The event contributed ample food and supplies to Circle of Concern, providing healthy meals to St. Louis families in need. All in all, it proved to be a great way to get into the spirit of giving!

You can learn how to help the Circle of Concern Food Pantry here.

Meanwhile, in Houston the team at the Royal Sonesta Houston participated in the 19th Bike Building event hosted by Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston, where teams of 8 local hospitality employees get together in a friendly competition of bike building. Each team assembles two BMX bikes and make two holiday cards that are presented to the designated Child Advocate kids assigned to that team.

The Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston represents the lodging industry and provides an avenue to further professionalism, knowledge, and profitability. It provides a means of cooperation and camaraderie within the industry as well as a public awareness effort outside of the industry. Their partnership with Child Advocates led to the creation of the event.

Child Advocates mobilizes court appointed volunteers to break the vicious cycle of child abuse. They speak up for abused children who are lost in the system and guide them into safe environments where they can thrive.  To learn more information about Child Advocates and their mission, please visit their website at http://www.childadvocates.org/.

The HLAGH Bike Building Event for Child Advocates is a very fun and heartwarming event because of the interaction with the beneficiaries of the program – the child is filled with excitement as they watch you build the bike for them – that they then get to take home!